NI's further education colleges partner for new Apprenticeship project

  • Photo: Louise Warde Hunter, Principal and Chief Executive at Belfast Met

    Northern Ireland's six further education colleges are working on a collaborative Apprenticeship Development Project, which will support new approaches to the development, recruitment and delivery of apprenticeships.  

    Louise Warde Hunter, Principal and Chief Executive at Belfast Met said: “At Belfast Met we have a deep commitment to skills and apprenticeships. We are fully aware of the critical role that skills will have in the economic recovery, and apprenticeships will be a central component of the recovery.

    "The Apprenticeship Development Project, funded through the Department for Economy’s Apprenticeship Challenge Fund, provides an innovative and collaborative project across the sector, with extensive expertise in teaching, training and engagement with employers across the regional partners.”

    The Apprenticeship Challenge Fund is part of the department's Apprenticeship Recovery Package to help the apprenticeship system respond to Covid-19's impact on Northern Ireland through financial support.

    RELATED: Get involved in NI's Apprenticeship Week 2021

    Aidan Sloane, Head of Training, Skills and Apprenticeships at Belfast Met added: “We will be collaborating across the sector to develop and implement a range of innovative initiatives to support new approaches to the development, recruitment and delivery of apprenticeships.

    "A key aim for this project is to provide employers with an improved understanding of the structure of apprenticeships, including an understanding of the benefits for employers and apprentices, and an increase in participation of apprenticeships across the region.

    “The project will develop an employer mentoring programme to equip the managers of apprentices in industry with the skills they need to effectively support and develop apprentices and apprenticeship programmes across a broad curriculum. An online module will certify employers as a trained apprentice mentor.

    "The resources produced will also help employers to better understand the structure of Apprenticeship NI and Higher-Level Apprenticeship programmes, with the strategic objective of increasing participation.”

    RELATED: Belfast Met partners with Concentrix to deliver apprenticeship programme

    Mark Dorman, Employer Engagement Manager at Belfast Met concluded: “The workplace can be a daunting place for new apprentices and the project will improve their experience of engaging in the workplace, as well as developing their career.

    "They can be confident that someone is fully equipped to support them in the workplace and throughout their apprenticeship journey. The overall objective is to ensure that apprentices feel valued, are fully supported, and stay on track to achieve their qualifications.”

    For more information about apprenticeship business solutions at Belfast Met go to

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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